On a snowy day in New York City a little more than 13 months ago, the United States Golf Association gathered the golf media and some other friends to make a jaw-dropping announcement: Going forward, the U.S. Women’s Open would have a presenting sponsor. Furthermore, the purse for the championship would immediately go to $10 million for the 2022 event — up from $5.5 million — before reaching $12 million by 2026. This is the highest purse in women’s golf and one of the highest in all of women’s sports.
Said USGA CEO Mike Whan that day: “This allows us to substantially grow the championship in every way, from its purpose to its purse to the places that host the event.”
This was the most tangible sign of a commitment by the USGA to elevate the women’s game in America. Some traditionalists probably are still a bit unhappy about the increased commercialism, but the world didn’t come to an end when the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica took place at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., last summer.
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